Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a curated roundup of recent restaurant openings big and small across San Diego that will be regularly updated.
Did we miss a spot? Drop a note at the tipline and we’ll consider it for the next update.
September 7, 2021
CARMEL VALLEY— Bonchon, the South Korean-based global fried chicken chain, just rolled out third area location that joins existing outposts in Kearny Mesa and National City. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. inside the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch complex, the restaurant is serving its signature fried chicken with spicy or soy garlic glaze and a range of Korean classics including japchae and bibimbap. 6030 Village Way.
CLAIREMONT— Bringing the flavors of El Salvador to San Diego, Cuscatlan is now serving Salvadorean specialties like yuca frita, banana leaf-wrapped tamales, and pupusas, griddled corn cakes stuffed with savory fillings that range from zucchini and cheese to chicharron and cheese but the lunch and dinner menu also extends to Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and deep dish pizza. 7516 Mesa College Dr.
COLLEGE AREA— Landing a mile away from the SDSU campus is the Cravory, a local cookie company that started out as a farmers market vendor before opening its first storefront in Point Loma. With additional outposts in Poway and Petco Park, this newest location is operating for dine-in, takeout, and delivery, offering a rotating list of flavors from its huge cookie roster as well as ice cream, plus coffee and espresso drinks from Cafe Moto. 6526 El Cajon Blvd.
LA JOLLA— Plant Power, the rapidly-growing vegan fast-food chain, has launched its ninth location at UCSD at the new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood development on campus. Featuring on-site dining, mobile ordering, pickup, and delivery of veganized classics like burgers and chicken tenders, the restaurant is reportedly also headed to Carmel Mountain. 9685 Scholars Drive North, Suite CT0121.
SOLANA BEACH— Sindi’s Snack Shack is serving an menu that assembles an eclectic set of Asian dishes, from Indonesian mi-goreng, Vietnamese banh mi, and Korean street toast to spam musubi, rice noodle salad, and fresh spring rolls. The coastal spot is also offering boba and milk tea as well as Vietnamese coffee and espresso drinks. 150 S Acacia Ave.
August 16, 2021
ESCONDIDO— Pho Ca Dao & Grill’s newest location in North County is a 3,200-square-foot restaurant with 600-square-foot patio with 10-tap bar serving its own PCD Lager as well as cocktails. The menu has recently been expanded to include turmeric fish with dill, firecracker shrimp, pan fried rice noodles, and short ribs with rice. In addition to its standard beef pho, this location is now offers oxtail pho and short rib pho. 609 N. Escondido Blvd.
GASLAMP— East County stalwart Nicolosi’s, which began as a Mission Hills bakery in 1952 before moving to San Carlos in 1958 and becoming a full-fledged Italian restaurant, has opened a second location in the Gaslamp. Called Nicolosi’s on 5th, the 4,000-square-foot renovated space features a full bar, live music, and a carry-over menu of restaurant favorites including the pasta tasting trio. New to this outpost are a variety of vegan and gluten-free dishes. 815 Fifth Ave.
OCEANSIDE— The Plot relaunched this summer at full capacity, welcoming new chef de cuisine Ryan Orlando, formerly of Campfire. Designed to adhere to a model of sustainability and zero waste, the all-vegan restaurant from Jessica and Davin Waite (Wrench and Rodent) makes most of its meat-free proteins, including imitation “crab” made from lion’s mane mushrooms, and much of the produce on its menu is grown directly behind the restaurant where there is an emphasis on utilizing every part of each vegetable. 1733 S Coast Hwy.
EAST VILLAGE— Nick the Greek, a fast-casual chain with locations throughout California, has landed near Petco Park where it replaces Oscar’s Mexican Seafood. Its menu centers around pita sandwiches, stuffed with everything from chicken gyro to pork souvlaki, falafel, and grilled vegetables, with sides likes hummus and feta-and garlic-topped fries. 927 J Street.
HILLCREST— The menu at dessert cafe Gelabong is stacked with popular Asian treats, from from specialty beverages ranging from boba drinks and dalgona coffee to milk flavored with banana, brown sugar, or matcha, as well as fish-shaped pastries (taiyaki) served with various fillings, including Nutella and custard, and scoops of gelato. The shop also offers an array of chewy mochi doughnuts. 3882 Fourth Ave.
August 3, 2021
NORTH PARK— The former co-owner and founding chef of Oceanside’s acclaimed Dija Mara have debuted Hoxton Manor in the former Breakfast Company space. Featuring a gin-heavy cocktail menu and progressive list of natural wines, the restaurant serves a mostly Southeast Asian menu of shareable plates that includes highlights like charcoal-grilled skewers, scallop and prawn aguachile, and wild squid fried rice. 3131 University Ave.
MISSION HILLS— Komatsuya brings more sushi and Japanese cuisine to Goldfinch Street where it has moved into the former spot of wine bar Fools and Kings. The restaurant launched with an omakase or chef’s choice, which is also available with all vegan options. It starts with zensai, an assortment of small appetizers, and includes oshizushi, or pressed sushi and a a fried fish course as well as sashimi and nigiri. 4015 Goldfinch St.
KEARNY MESA— Replacing the long-running Sushi Shirahama on Convoy Street is Matoi, whose chef/owner Trace Jerome has extensive experience behind sushi bars in Japan and locally at spots like Hane Sushi and Cloak & Petal. Matoi offers three tiers of omakase, priced at $55, $95, and $130, which include multiple courses of nigiri, sashimi, appetizers, and hot dishes. 4212 Convoy St.
HILLCREST— Local favorite Amarin Thai, which shuttered in 2020 after more than 20 years in operations, has been remodeled into White Elephant Asian Kitchen, a new restaurant that features classic Thai cuisine as well as some Laotian and Vietnamese dishes. 3843 Richmond St.
TALMADGE— The family-owned Clem’s Bottle House & Deli and Clem’s Tap House in Kensington has branched out with a new mid-city location that replaces Romeo & Julieta Wine Cafe. Clem’s Station boasts a full liquor license and a large list of beers on tap, and also offers some to-go liquor sales. A full kitchen will enable the restaurant to offer an expanded menu, which now includes pizza, salads, chicken wings, and a burger. 4715 Monroe Ave.
July 15, 2021
NORTH PARK— Chef Ronnie Schwandt, a veteran of Blue Bridge Hospitality and Trust Restaurant Group just opened Verbena Kitchen with event pro Jillian Ziska of To Be Designed. Operating from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, the restaurant’s menu of shared plates will change with the seasons but debut dishes include a farmer’s market salad, Peruvian-style shrimp ceviche, Moroccan-spiced lamb loin, and wagyu beef tartare while his Sunday brunch features an egg salad sandwich and beet-poached salmon. Verbena Kitchen’s bar offerings from Dallas Juanes include wine cocktails like the Cherry Blossom, a sparkling drink made with cherry-soaked unfiltered sake, red wine, Lilet, and rose simple syrup. 3043 University Ave.
SAN MARCOS— Joining Mason Aleworks, Copa Vida, and Newtopia Cyder at the North City development, which features its own farmer’s market and live music twice a week, is local fave Buona Forchetta, whose latest spot is a 3,000-square-foot space serving the Italian restaurant’s popular lineup of dishes including its Neapolitan and Roman-style pizzas, calzones, and fresh pasta. Offering lunch and dinner to start, owner Matteo Cattaneo will eventually add breakfast and brunch with pastries from his eponymous bakery in South Park as well as a retail component with gourmet items. 250 N City Dr.
POINT LOMA— Anchoring the new Monsaraz Hotel, the all-day Westerly Public House has a vibe that melds the SoCal lifestyle with Austrailia’s coast with a kitchen helmed by Jesse Paul (The Wooden Spoon) whose concise starting menu includes buttermilk-fried enoki mushrooms, fish tacos, and piri piri chicken. 1451 Rosecrans St.
DEL MAR— The longstanding L’Auberge Del Mar remodeled its former Coastline restaurant into an all-day spot called Adelaide. Featuring a large ocean-view patio, the restaurant is led by executive chef Nick Green whose local seafood-focused dinner menu includes bass ceviche, crispy Pacific octopus, and black cod with mussel broth. 1540 Camino Del Mar.
MISSION VALLEY— Los Angeles transplant Silverlake Ramen has arrived at the Fashion Valley Mall. Confirming to Eater that this location is the first of several planned for the San Diego area, Silverlake Ramen’s menu ranges from appetizers and rice bowls to a diverse selection of ramen including garlic truffle, spicy tonkotsu, and tsukemen, or dipping ramen. 7007 Friars Rd Ste 357B.
May 11, 2021
LITTLE ITALY— Carlsbad’s Burgeon Beer Co. has launched a new tap room and kitchen called The Arbor in the base of the Savina building that is now offering a large variety of house beer as well as wine and kombucha. Its seasonal food menu, which is also available for takeout along with draft beer to-go and retail four-packs, ranges from ribeye tacos to seafood jambalaya and Szechuan tofu. 1326 Kettner Blvd.
GRANTVILLE— Longtime Mission George restaurant Szechuan Mandarin has been remodeled and reopened as Fish Grub, where the menu centers around fish and chips — offering everything from Pacific cod to whole fried tilapia — but also offers seafood sandwiches, tacos, and entrees like ginger-soy salmon and coconut curry shrimp. Its weekday happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 5855 Mission Gorge Rd.
CARMEL VALLEY— Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, the popular Bay Area chain, has opened its fourth San Diego location at Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Among the more than 800 sandwiches on the menu are items exclusive to this branch, including the “Not So Cursed Antiques” that features steak, beer-battered onion rings, and provolone and the vegetarian “Torrey Pine” made with vegan “steak”. The first 50 people in line for their grand opening event on May 21 will receive a free tshirt and sandwich. 3545 Del Mar Heights Rd, C7.
OCEAN BEACH— Sorrento Valley’s California Wild Ales has a brand new tasting room where it’s pouring a large selection of its barrel-aged sour beers and introducing a slew of beverages including the brewery’s first-ever lager, a pale ale made in collaboration with Ocean Beach Brewery, and its hard seltzers. 4896 Newport Ave.
CHULA VISTA— The South Bay’s new Ichiban Sando, open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,, specializes in Japanese sandwiches or sandos. Served on thick slices of homemade Japanese milk bread, they’re filled with fried pork or fried chicken cutlets and come with optional cheese or spicy sauce. The shop also offers a variety of milk and fruit teas. 573 H St.
April 12, 2021
LITTLE ITALY— Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien, in partnership with Grain & Grit Collective, has opened the second location of Samburgers inside the Little Italy Food Hall. First launched in Seaport Village as part the multi-menu EATS by Sam project, it offers a beef patty blend of sirloin, brisket, and short rib as well as a salmon, chicken, and vegan burger. For the grand opening, Zien will be hosting a book signing for his latest cookbook, Recipes with Intentional Leftovers, along with other special events and giveaways. Samburgers is next headed to Costa Mesa, where Zien recently opened another Not Not Tacos. 550 W Date St Suite B.
EAST VILLAGE— The seventh outpost of City Tacos has arrived in the East Village in the former Larry’s Deli spot right next to Petco Park. Currently open two hours prior to and after every Padres home game, City Tacos Ballpark Taqueria is serving a limited menu of its most popular menu items including the chorizo asado, pescado, and borrego tacos and offering patio and some indoor seating. 323 Seventh Ave.
VISTA— Pure Project has partially opened its new brewery headquarters, a 13,850-square-foot space that will be its production hub. Although the indoor tap room and brewery are still under construction, the patio and beer garden areas are open for on-site service as well as beer to-go. 1305 Hot Springs Way.
DEL MAR— After shuttering its original location in North Park, Tamarindo has resurfaced at the Del Mar Plaza with its menu of agave spirit-focused cocktails and tacos, salads, sandwiches, and entrees that range from seafood paella to Oaxacan chicken mole. The nearly 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which has a spacious ocean view patio, is open for dinner service with takeout and lunch coming soon. 1555 Camino Del Mar Ste. 116-117.
PACIFIC BEACH— Uncle Chai Thailand Street Food recently landed on Cass Street with a takeout menu that ranges from Thai curries and soups to a variety of rice and noodle dishes. Other specialties include green papaya salad, stewed pork legs, and moo ping, or Thai-style grilled pork skewers. 4508 Cass St., Ste B.
March 30, 2021
NORTH PARK— Grab-and-go breakfast outlet Eggies opens its fourth location today in North Park where it sits adjacent to its popular sibling, Breakfast Republic. Functioning out of a 100-square-foot space fronted by a walk-up window, and operating from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, it offers a takeout-oriented menu of breakfast sandwiches, French toast jars, and churros. 2726 University Avenue.
CARLSBAD — Orange County’s Tabu Shabu, which arrived in San Diego last year with a first outpost in North Park, has opened a seventh location overall at The Square at Bressi Ranch where it joins several other restaurants including Giaola Italian Kitchen, Casero Taqueria, and Mendocino Farms. Specializing in Japanese shabu-shabu, the do-it-yourself restaurant features a menu of meat, seafood, and vegetables that are cooked inside individual tabletop hot pots of boiling broth. 2674 Gateway Road, Suite 190.
OCEAN BEACH — Replacing an Italian spot, Starfish Filipino Eatery has landed in the neighborhood with a mix of Filipino classics and modern dishes, including pancit, adobo, and lumpia and a number of vegan and vegetarian options. A selection of silog, a breakfast dish of garlic fried rice, and egg, and a protein, is available on weekends and the restaurant will soon launch a weekly reservation-only chef’s prix fixe menu on Thursday nights that will occasionally feature guest chefs. 1830 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ste E.
POWAY — Plenty of kid and pet-friendly patio space can be found at The Hop Stop, opened at the Old Poway Village Shopping Center by two local beer industry veterans. Featuring live music on Sundays in its beer garden and a frequently-rotating tap list, the restaurant’s crowd-pleasing menu ranges from chicken wings and salad to sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and sausages. 14055 Midland Road.
BAY PARK — The former Benchmark Brewing space has become a second satellite tasting room and beer garden for Scripps Ranch-based Harland Brewing. Open daily, with a weekday 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour special on pints, the Bay Park location is partnering with the nearby Poseidon Project to offer a menu of appetizers and pizza. 4112 Napier Street.
March 10, 2021
KEARNY MESA — Recently expanded from Northern California, Milk Tea Lab is a chain of boba tea shops with a modern, science-y theme that serves a menu of drinks, ranging from honey roasted milk tea and lychee green tea to peach and passion fruit tonics that can be topped with everything from mango popping boba to red beans, egg pudding and coffee jelly. The cafe also offers an eclectic mix of savory snacks, including takoyaki, popcorn chicken, tater tots, and potstickers. 7510 Mesa College Drive.
LA JOLLA — Mermaids and Cowboys which debuted during the pandemic, replacing Alfonso’s on Prospect Street, is reopening on March 11 after a hiatus. Starting with outdoor dining and dinner service, with plans to launch happy hour, weekend brunch and lunch when indoor dining resumes, the surf and turf menu from executive chef Chris Barre includes bone marrow crab cakes, chowder fries, and giant, sharable platters featuring a three-pound porterhouse steak or Maine lobster. . 1251 Prospect Street.
RANCHO PENASQUITOS — Geared towards takeout and delivery, Myung Ka is specializing in ready-to-eat meal boxes packed with Korean favorites including steamed kim chi dumplings, bulgogi kimbap, spicy seafood soup, and the classic Chinese-Korean noodle dish jjajjang myung. 12812 Rancho Penasquitos Blvd.
EAST VILLAGE — Offering curbside pickup and delivery, Open Art Street Market combines a gourmet grocery and gift store, stocking grab-and-go sushi, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods along with snacks and pantry items as well as home decor and other household items. 729 9th Avenue.
TEMECULA — The Prestifilippo family, who run other several businesses in the area including Gourmet Italia, Poggio Leano Winery & Vineyard, and Spuntino Pizzeria, are behind Bottega Italia, a bar and restaurant serving Italian pastries and coffee at breakfast and a dinner menu that includes a long list of pizza, calzone, and pasta paired with Italian cocktails. 28475 Old Town Front St.
February 26, 2021
FASHION VALLEY — Aloha shirt specialist Tommy Bahama has landed the large-scale Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar at the mall. The 7,200-square-foot restaurant-retail hybrid combines shopping and dining experience, with a store full of the brand’s apparel and home decor items alongside an eatery and cocktail bar serving an island-style menu that includes coconut shrimp, ahi poke, and a range of rum cocktails. Plenty of outdoor seating is available but online ordering is also offered for takeout or delivery on all menu items and special family meals. 7007 Friars Road, #305.
HILLCREST — Now open for outdoor dining, La Taverna’s owners hail from Rome and Sicily, which inspires its menu of housemade pasta that you can mix and match with different sauces and add-ons as well as wood-fired brick oven pizzas. There’s also a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. The Italian restaurant’s takeout menu features family-style meals for two or four people that includes salad, pizza and/or pasta, and dessert. 3650 Fifth Ave.
KEARNY MESA — Taiwanese dessert cafe Meet Fresh, a global chain that arrived in Mira Mesa in 2019, is launching its newest location with a weekend-long special event. The shop, which specializes in shaved ice, warm dessert soups, boba teas, and more, is running a buy one, get one free deal on its milk tea or winter melon tea with mini taro balls through February 28. 7501 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #303.
LITTLE ITALY — Replacing India Street fixture Indigo Grill, Allegro has opened for brunch, lunch, and dinner with a coastal Italian menu from Sicilian chef Marco Provino (Rusticucina) and the group behind Osetra Seafood & Steaks that includes a large variety of seafood dishes, including sea urchin, lobster, and Dungeness crab pasta. The restaurant features a glassed-in kitchen and an outdoor dining space filled with lemon trees and fire pits. 1536 India St.
CORONADO — Specialty market Vom Fass, a specialty oils, vinegars, spirits and wine store that operated in Hillcrest for 5 years, has relocated to a waterfront space in the Coronado Ferry Building where the gourmet store has added add a wine, whiskey, and tequila bar. 1201 First Street #101.
February 12, 2021
CARLSBAD — As part of a resort-wide renovation, the Park Hyatt Aviara has started to unveil a new lineup of restaurants and bars on the property include Pacific Point, a lobby bar and terrace, and Ponto Lago, which opens today for breakfast and will start dinner service later this spring as well as weekend brunch. The ocean-view restaurant, with a glassed-in show kitchen, serves a Baja California menu and mezcal and tequila-based cocktail list. It’ll soon be joined by Ember & Rye, celebrity chef Richard Blais’ fresh take on a steakhouse. 7100 Aviara Resort Dr.
HILLCREST — Acclaimed North County bakery Prager Brothers Artisan Breads has launched an outpost in Hillcrest that’s now open for takeout, though there is a small outdoor dining area that may open at a later date. Along with its locations in Carlsbad and Encinitas, the Hillcrest branch offers the full range of pastries, breads, and baked goods beyond what can be found at its farmers market stalls including store-exclusive Valentine’s Day treats like cherry chocolate sourdough, pain suisse, and hot chocolate shortbread. 1252 University Ave.
LA JOLLA — Furaido Premium Chicken Company, which moved out of its Poway location early last year, has reopened in the UCSD area as Calvin’s Korean Hot Chicken with its same popular recipe for fried chicken tenders and wings in flavors like garlicky soy and devil garlic and sides ranging from corn and edamame to jalapeno poppers. New on the menu is a sandwich stuffed with two tenders, pickles, slaw, and top secret sauce. 3211 Holiday Ct.
CHULA VISTA — La Central Urban Grill has opening another outpost in the community, a standalone spot that features an outdoor beer and wine garden and a Baja California menu that includes raw bar offerings like oyster shots, aguachile, and Mexican-style sashimi as well as a variety of tacos filled with everything from chicharron and octopus to carne asada, spicy shrimp and grilled vegetables. 3373 Main St.
LA MESA — Among the recent additions to Grossmont Center’s vegan food offerings, Mariscos No Mar offers creative versions of classic Mexican seafood dishes made with all-vegan ingredients including an array of ceviche and aguachile made with jackfruit, heart of palm, coconut, oyster mushrooms, or faux shrimp. The food stall also serves tacos like gobernador and marlin with vegan substitutes.
• All Openings Coverage [ESD]